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Albany Civic Center director resigns to head to Dodge

ALBANY -- Outgoing Albany Civic Center Director John Mazzola is getting to Dodge.

Dodge City, Kansas, that is.

Mazzola has tendered his resignation with the city of Albany to accept a job as general manager for the Dodge City/Ford County (Kansas) Event Center. With vacation time he has built up, Mazzola's resignation is effective May 14, but his last work day will be April 14.

In leaving Albany, Mazzola is heading to a smaller population area in Ford County, which has 33,293 people, according to 2008 census numbers -- a little over a third of Dougherty County's population. But he is also leaving a county with an unemployment rate in the double digits -- 12.6 percent in January for Dougherty County -- for one that has a jobless rate that is a minuscule 3.2 percent.

"On The Associated Press stress index, Ford County is the number one least economically stressed county in the United States," Mazzola told The Albany Herald minutes ago. The people there are employed, they have money and they can buy tickets to entertainment events."

Assistant Albany City Manager Wes Smith said city officials have not made a decision in naming an interim director as they begin searching for a successor to fill the vacant position.

"Mr. Mazzola did a fine job as Civic Center director during his tenure here," Smith said. "He has taken on a position that will be a challenge to him, and we wish him the best of luck in his career."

Mazzola began his tenure as Civic Center director June 2006. He replaced former director Mattie Goddard, who was fired in February 2006.